Laetitia Beck

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Laetitia Beck
לטיסיה בק
Laetitia Beck (42174464342).jpg
Beck in 2018
Personal information
NicknameLaetis[1]
Born (1992-02-05) February 5, 1992 (age 27)
Antwerp, Belgium
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Nationality Israel
ResidenceCaesarea, Israel
Career
CollegeDuke University
Turned professional2014
Current tour(s)LPGA Tour
Best results in LPGA major championships
ANA InspirationT66: 2018
Women's PGA C'shipT66: 2018
U.S. Women's OpenDNP
Women's British OpenCUT: 2014, 2016, 2018
Evian ChampionshipDNP
Medal record
Women's golf
Representing  Israel
Maccabiah Games
Gold medal – first place 2009 Israel Women's individual
Gold medal – first place 2013 Israel Women's individual
Gold medal – first place 2013 Israel Women's team

Laetitia Beck (Hebrew: לטיסיה בק‎; born February 5, 1992) is an Israeli professional golfer. She made her professional debut at the 2014 Women's British Open.[2]

Beck has won the Israeli Open Golf Championship five times, including for the first time when she was 12 years of age. She also won gold medals in golf in both the 2009 and 2013 Maccabiah Games.

Beck attended Duke University from 2010–14, where she golfed for the Blue Devils. In 2011, she was voted the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, in 2013 and 2014 she was an All-American, and for her college career she had a 73.58 stroke average (10th-best in school history).

She is the first Israeli to compete in an LPGA tournament, and in December 2014 became the first Israeli to qualify as a fully-fledged PGA or LPGA Tour player. She competed for Israel at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Personal and early life[edit]

Beck was born in Antwerp, Belgium.[3][4] She is Jewish, and keeps kosher, on and off the road.[5] Her parents are Liliane and Jean Claude, who are keen recreational golfers, and she has one brother (Yoni) and two sisters (Liora and twin sister Olivia).[5][6]

Beck and her family moved to Caesarea, Israel, a town midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the Mediterranean coast, when she was six years old. It is the only city in Israel with an 18-hole golf course, Caesarea Golf Club, and she grew up walking distance from it.[7][8][9][5] She began playing golf there at the Caesarea Golf Academy when she was nine years old.[9] She excelled in both golf and tennis when she was young.[10]

Looking for tougher competition in golf, Beck left for the United States as a teenager.[11] For high school, starting at the age of 14 she attended the IMG Pendleton School in Bradenton, Florida. She graduated in 2010.[10][12][13]

Beck resides in Caesarea, Israel, when she is not in school. When she reached 18 years of age, she enlisted in the Israeli army and completed her required military exams. But the army designated her a sports prodigy, and postponed her military service until after she finishes her golf career.[5][14][15]

Golf career[edit]

Beck is the first Israeli to compete in an LPGA Tour tournament, and displays the flag of Israel on her golf shoes (and sometimes on her hat or clubs), and a blue-and-white magen david symbol on her golf apparel.[8][9][10][16] She noted: "When I play golf I'm very proud to represent Israel. My goal is to represent Israel and the Jewish people."[8]

2004–10[edit]

Beck won her first Israeli Ladies Championship at the age of 12, at the Israel Open Golf Tournament.[6][10][16][17] In May 2005, at the age of 13, she won the Israel Open Golf Championship for the second year in a row.[18] Seven months later, she made a hole-in-one on the first day of the Doral Open in Florida.[19]

In 2008, she was again Israeli women's champion and won the 2008 Rolex Israel Open Championship.[20][21] She also won the Junior Israel Open Championship, the University of Florida Championship, her section of the Doral Silver Classic Tournament, and finished third at the 2008 Girl's British Amateur Championship (and was awarded a first-place trophy in the category of Eastern Europe and Middle East Youth).[22][23][24][25] That year, she was also chosen as one of Israel's sportswomen of the decade, by Israel's Culture and Sport Ministry.[26]

In 2009, at the age of 17 she finished in second place at the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in Scotland, one stroke behind the winner.[27][28] She received the runner-up prize from Prince Andrew, Duke of York.[27] That year, she also won the Israel Junior and Ladies Championships and the 2009 Doral Publix Junior Classic (with a 54-hole total of 209, 7 under par).[22]

Beck won the 2010 Verizon Junior Heritage by two shots with rounds of 73 and 74 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.[29] She was named Golfweek's Player of the Week on February 8, 2010.[29] Later in February she took second place at the Annika Invitational.[30][31] She was listed No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index in May 2010, and that month she took second in the Thunderbird International Junior in Scottsdale, Arizona.[32][33] In June she won the Caesarea Junior Golf Championship.[34]

Beck attended Duke University on a golf scholarship from 2010–14, and majored in psychology.[3][18][35] She played for the Duke Blue Devils beginning with the 2010–11 campaign.[32] Duke's coach described her as "a very hard worker" who "has a beautiful, powerful golf swing."[32]

In September 2010, she was ranked #4 in Ladies European Amateur rankings, appeared on the 2010 Golfweek Players-to-Watch list, and was ranked third-best freshman.[12] In October, she was named 1 of 12 Rolex Junior First-team All-Americans by the American Junior Golf Association.[36][37] She was also ranked #2 among US-based female youth golfers, and #6 among all US female golfers.[38]

2011–14[edit]

Beck at the 2013 Women's British Open

In March 2011, she took third at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate in New Orleans.[39] Beck was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Golfer of the Month for April 2011, after a third-place finish at the Liz Murphey Collegiate.[40] She registered a 73.75 stroke average during her freshman 2010–11 season, sixth in the ACC and tops among freshmen.[40]

In May 2011, the ACC named Beck the ACC Rookie of the Year in a vote of the league's nine head coaches.[40] She followed, among others, former Blue Devils Beth Bauer (1999), Liz Janangelo (2003), Brittany Lang (2004), and Amanda Blumenherst (2006).[40] She was also named to the 12-person All-ACC squad, and to the 2010–11 ACC Academic Honor Roll, for academic excellence as a student-athlete.[40][41]

In August 2011, she qualified to participate as an amateur in the CN Canadian Women's Open in Montreal, Canada.[42] She finished tied for 70th in her first LPGA Tour event.[43] In September, she became the first woman to defeat all men to win the Israel Open Golf Championship, as the Caesarea Golf Club allowed her to compete against men rather than women, so that she could play stiffer competition.[10]

In October 2011, she declined a request to join the UNC Tar-Heels Invitational 54-hole competition, because it conflicted with the holiest Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.[16][44][45] Instead, she spent the day fasting and praying.[44] She said: "My Judaism is very important to me, and I keep all the other holidays. On Yom Kippur, no matter what, I have to fast."[16] Her decision prompted comparisons to baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax not playing a game in the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.[8]

In the 2011–12 season, as a sophomore she had a 74.97 stroke average, three top-10 finishes, and for the second time was an All-ACC selection.[46]

In April 2013, she took second at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, in Greensboro, North Carolina.[47] In August, Golf World cited her as one of the "top 50 players to watch".[48]

In the 2012–13 season, as a junior she had a 73.16 stroke average, and earned Golfweek All-America and National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Honorable Mention All-America honors, and for the third time was an All-ACC selection.[48][49]

In the 2013–14 season, as a senior she had a 72.29 stroke average, and earned WGCA First Team All-America and Golfweek Second Team All-America, for the fourth straight year was an All-ACC selection, and for the third time was named to the All-ACC Women's Golf Academic Team.[3][50] She helped lead Duke to the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships and the ACC title.[3] She placed 2nd in the NCAA Championship, tied for 3rd at the Tar Heel Invitational, and ranked 14th in the final Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.[3] She graduated from Duke in 2014.[51]

Beck totaled 45 rounds of even or under par over her Duke career (tied for 5th-best on Duke's career record charts), had a 73.58 career stroke average (10th-best in school history), and was the 11th Duke golfer to earn All-ACC accolades in each of her four years.[3]

Pro career (2014–present)[edit]

In July 2014, at the age of 22 Beck became the first Israeli woman to play golf as a professional, making her professional debut at the 2014 Women's British Open.[2] "It means a lot to me," she said. "It's the first time for me and my country."[2]

In December 2014, at the age of 22 Beck became the first Israeli golfer to qualify as a fully-fledged PGA or LPGA Tour player.[51][52] She finished T-11 at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida, to earn her tour card for the 2015 LPGA Tour.[53] In 2015, she played 14 events and made 8 cuts. At the Manulife LPGA Classic in 2015, she was one shot off the lead in the first round, just behind Cheyenne Woods. She ended with her best finish that year tied for 19th.[54][55]

In January 2017, she came in 8th at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, with a 19 under par 273.[56] In January 2018, she came in 10th at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, with a five under par in three rounds 214.[57]

Maccabiah Games[edit]

Beck won an individual gold medal and a team gold medal in golf at the 2009 Maccabiah Games.[6][10][12][58] She then won both an individual gold medal and a team gold medal at the 2013 Maccabiah Games, shooting 69 in each of the three rounds, finishing 9-under, 15 strokes ahead of her next competitor and also helped Israel win gold by a stroke in the team event, over Team USA.[14][59]

Olympics[edit]

Beck qualified to represent the Israeli Olympic team in golf at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics, when the sport returned to the Olympic Games.[6][60] She shot 75-70-71-70, for a 286 (+2) final score, coming in tied for 31st out of 60 competitors.[61]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Getting to Know Laetitia Beck". GoDuke.com.
  2. ^ a b c Sirak, Ron (July 2014). "Laetitia Beck Isn't Making Any Ordinary Pro Debut At The Women's British Open: The Loop". Golf Digest.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Laetitia Beck Bio". GoDuke.com. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Kennedy, Charlie (May 27, 2010). "Senior Profile: Laetitia Beck". The Pendleton Panther. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d Lerner, Elissa (May 18, 2012). "Twin Lives". Duke Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Caro, Danny (July 6, 2012). "Dream of Rio beckoning for Laetitia Beck". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Schupak, Adam (November 14, 2012). "Golfweek: Spreading the gospel of golf in Israel". USA Today. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Saval, Malina (October 6, 2011). "Rising Golf Star Going the Route of Sandy Koufax This Year". Chabad-Lubavitch News. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c Philips, Randy (August 25, 2011). "Beck proud to be first from Israel to play in LPGA Qualified for Canadian open". The Gazette. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Sagui, Miki (September 7, 2011). "Laetitia Beck, Israel's Tiger Woods". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  11. ^ Schupak, Adam (November 16, 2012). "A trip to Israel: Golf is limited, but there is plenty of passion". Golfweek. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "Golf / Israel sends ladies team with high hopes". Haaretz. September 24, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  13. ^ "Pendelton School 2010 graduates". Bradenton Herald. May 29, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Klein, Steven (July 26, 2013). "Women's Golf / Caesarea's Laetitia Beck cruises to victory – Maccabiah 2013". Haaretz. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  15. ^ המכביה: סילברמן ובק אלופי המכביה בגולף – וואלה! ספורט (in Hebrew). Sports.walla.co.il. July 27, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  16. ^ a b c d "Yom Kippur a No Go for Young Golfer Laetitia Beck". Algemeiner Journal. October 7, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  17. ^ Smajovitz, Daniel (June 8, 2012). "Young Israeli golfer aids hospital and mingles with Canadian wannabes". The Jewish Tribune. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Califa, David (May 27, 2005). "Youngsters walk off with top honors at Israel Golf Open". Haaretz. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  19. ^ "Caesarea student gets hole-in-one at Doral Open". The Jerusalem Post. December 25, 2005. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  20. ^ "MacDonald and Muirhead are sitting pretty at Monifieth". Press and Journal. August 15, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  21. ^ Futeran, Shmulik (December 23, 2008). "Beck, Fridrich and Ossip grab Rolex titles". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "2011–12 Duke University Women's Golf Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  23. ^ "ספורט – ענפים נוספים nrg – ...אליפות בריטניה לנוער בגולף:" (in Hebrew). Nrg.co.il. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  24. ^ Kaufman, Cyril (August 1, 2008). "Golf / Foreign travel suits Israelis to a tee". Haaretz. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  25. ^ "Double win for Israeli golfers". The Jerusalem Post. February 21, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  26. ^ "Laetitia Beck chosen as one of the sportsmen and sportswomen of the decade by the ministry of culture and sport". Zoominfo.com. July 17, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  27. ^ a b Klein, Steve (September 18, 2009). "Golf / Laetitia Beck places second behind British Open champ". Haaretz. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  28. ^ "Beck gets final hole birdie to secure 2nd in Scotland". The Jerusalem Post. September 14, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Player of the Week: Laetitia Beck". Golfweek. February 8, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  30. ^ Last, Jeremy (February 17, 2010). "Beck takes second place at Annika Invitational". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  31. ^ "AJGA – ANNKIA Invitational". Golfweek. February 15, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  32. ^ a b c "Golf / Laetitia Beck signs with Blue Devils". Haaretz. May 14, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  33. ^ "AJGA – Thunderbird International Junior". Golfweek. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  34. ^ "לטיסיה בק אלופת גולף קיסריה לנוער 2010". Magazin.org.il. June 13, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  35. ^ "Laetitia lets it slip". thejc.com.
  36. ^ "Jordan Spieth, Anthony Paolucci, Kristen Park top AJGA honorees list". ESPN. October 21, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  37. ^ "Meet the 2010 Rolex Junior All-America Girls' Teams". California Golf. October 24, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  38. ^ "Teenage golfer Laetitia Beck joins Blue Devils". The Jewish Chronicle. September 2, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  39. ^ "Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate". Golfweek. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  40. ^ a b c d e "Beck, Duncan Take Top Honors for ACC Women's Golf". GoDuke.com. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  41. ^ "ACC announces 2010–11 Academic Honor Roll". Hokiesports.com. July 29, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  42. ^ "Beck secures spot at LPGA tourney". The Jerusalem Post. August 23, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  43. ^ "Beck Places Tied 70th at CN Canadian Open". GoDuke.com. August 28, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  44. ^ a b Saval, Malina (October 14, 2011). "Golf / Israelis abroad / Beck follows in Koufax's footsteps". Haaretz. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  45. ^ Soclof, Adam (October 7, 2011). "The original Sandy Koufax of women's golf". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  46. ^ "Beck Assists With Jewish General Hospital Fundraiser". GoDuke.com. June 19, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  47. ^ "Atlantic Coast Conference Championship". Golfweek. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  48. ^ a b "Three Blue Devils Listed as Players to Watch". GoDuke.com. August 29, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  49. ^ "Brittany Altomare Named ACC Women's Golf Player of the Year". theacc.com. May 6, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  50. ^ "2014 All-ACC Academic Women's Golf Team Announced". Atlantic Coast Conference. June 20, 2014.
  51. ^ a b "Golf: Laetitia Beck becomes first Israeli ever to qualify for professional golf tour". The Jerusalem Post.
  52. ^ "Sinai Says: Beck's breakthrough could be watershed moment for Israeli golf". The Jerusalem Post.
  53. ^ "Final Round Results – LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament". LPGA. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  54. ^ "Rookie Laetitia Beck Of Israel One Shot Off First-Round Lead At Manulife". LPGA. June 4, 2015.
  55. ^ "Laetitia Beck – Bio". LPGA. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  56. ^ [1]
  57. ^ [2]
  58. ^ "ספורט – ענפים נוספים nrg – ...גולף: לטיסיה בק זכתה בטורניר" (in Hebrew). Nrg.co.il. July 22, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  59. ^ "ECH's Wohl takes silver, Duke's Beck gold at Maccabiah Games". The Herald-Sun. July 29, 2013. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  60. ^ "Israeli Beck barely misses cut at British Open". The Jerusalem Post.
  61. ^ "Olympic Women's Golf Competition". ESPN. Retrieved August 23, 2016.

External links[edit]